Real Madrid vs. Valencia: Three Potential MOTM Candidates

Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid face a tricky tie away at Mestalla, as they return to La Liga action after their hard-fought victory over Inter Milan in the Champions League.

Los Blancos will hope to continue their winning ways in the league to top off the victory over Huesca in their last domestic outing and make it three wins in a row. Real Madrid would want to go into the impending international break with a win over Valencia at Mestalla, a stadium which has proved to be a tough ground over the years. Real are in for a tough month in all competitions and

Although the hosts have been plagued by problems both on and off the pitch, the match will be a tricky tie for Los Blancos and the three points will be key to forwarding their charge towards topping the table. This season has had a mixed beginning of sorts, with some players picking up from where they left off last season whilst some are yet to reach the desired levels. Zidane will be looking for his players to build on the victory versus Inter Milan before the teams head for the international break. The three possible man of the match candidates are below.

Karim Benzema

Despite his critics, the Frenchman remains Real Madrid’s primary scoring threat having scored a brace against Huesca, and bagging an assist in Fede Valverde’s goal the last time around. The French forward has had to play with different players in attack over the season and is slowly racking up the goals.

His partnership with Eden Hazard continues to grow on the pitch as the both of them combined well in the 4-1 win. Zidane finally got to play his preferred front three of Hazard, Benzema, and Asensio vs Huesca, and they did not disappoint. The French forward will hope he can continue his goal-scoring form as it was key to Real’s La Liga campaign last season as well.

The No. 9 continues to be at the heart of Real’s attack with his goals and exceptional linkup play, especially by dropping deep to help in unlocking defenses. With Hazard purported to be in the lineup vs. Valencia, the attack will rely on the duo to further their chemistry on the field and he; Real get all 3 points.

There was livid drama surrounding the Frenchman and his teammate Vinicius Junior but that doesn’t seem to affect Karim. He will once again be key if Los Blancos are to win as he can score as well as set up those around him.

Sergio Ramos

The Real Madrid skipper is a much-needed presence at the back for Los Blancos. El Capitan is not only adept at keeping opposition attackers at bay but he has time and again proved his attacking prowess too. Having scored his 100th goal for the club in the 3-2 win over Inter Milan, Ramos wouldn’t mind adding to that tally at all. Ramos has been as efficient as ever from the penalty spot as well and his value to the team has already been relayed with ongoing talks over his contract extension. 

Ramos has the knack of turning up with goals in crucial situations and possesses a stellar goal-scoring record despite being a defender. It wouldn’t be quite uncommon to see Ramos head in from the corner or score from the spot over the weekend. The 34-year-old is aging like fine wine and his presence in the backline will be necessary to keep Valencia’s attack comprising of the likes of Kevin Gameiro and Gonalco Guedes at bay as a clean sheet would be another welcome boost for Zidane’s men.

Fede Valverde

Fede Valverde is in sparkling form and has shown that he can become a welcome scoring threat for Real Madrid with goals in his last two La Liga outings. Valverde’s success in front of goal doesn’t mean that his defensive contributions have waned. El Pajarito is evolving into a midfield engine that keeps Real’s midfield ticking. He played an instrumental role in helping Real cross the line and grind out a victory in the important Champions League fixture against Inter Milan.

His energy makes him an important cog in the team at both ends. His movements have allowed Karim Benzema to drop off and create space for Valverde to run into and also seen him play a key role in applying the pressure. Valverde has helped bring balance to the other end of the pitch as well, putting in a strong shift with his off the ball movements and pace which helps him track back attackers with ease. Therefore, it would come as no surprise if the 22-year-old puts in a match-winning performance at the Mestalla.

Next. Real Madrid Predicted XI against Valencia. dark

The trip to Mestalla has been a tough one for Real one over the years and it has often culminated in close results. Despite the hosts in a bit of turmoil off the pitch, it should be an exciting and tricky tie for Real at the Mestalla.